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GITANJALI 



MACMILLAN AND CO.,' LIMITED 

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA 
MELBOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO 
DALLAS . SAN FRANCISCO 

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD. 

TORONTO 



GITANJALI 

(SONG OFFERINGS) 

BY 

RABINDRANATH TAGORE 



A COLLECTION OF PROSE TRANSLATIONS 

MADE BY THE AUTHOR FROM 

THE ORIGINAL BENGALI 



WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY 

W. B. YEATS 






MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED 
ST. MARTIN'S STREET, LONDON 

1913 



COPYRIGHT 

Formerly issued (1912) in a limited Edition by the India Society 

First published by Macmillan & Co. March 1913 

Rf printed April. May, June. Jitlv (twt'c**), September 

October (three limes), November (twice), and December (t'wicii) 1913 



6039 



TO 

WILLIAM ROTHENSTEIN 



INTRODUCTION 

A FEW days ago I said to a distinguished 
Bengali doctor of medicine, " I know no 
German, yet if a translation of a Ger- 
man poet had moved me, I would go 
to the British Museum and find books 
in English that would tell me some- 
thing of his life, and of the history of 
his thought But though these prose 
translations from Rabindranath Tagore 
have stirred my blood as nothing has 
for years, I shall not know anything 
of his life, and of the movements of 
thought that have made them possible, 
if some Indian traveller will not tell 
me." It seemed to him natural that I 

should be moved, for he said, " I read 

vii b 



viii GITANJALI 

Rabindranath every day, to read one 
line of his is to forget all the troubles 
of the world." I said, "An Englishman 
living in London in the reign of Richard 
the Second had he been shown trans- 
lations from Petrarch or from Dante, 
would have found no books to answer 
his questions, but would have questioned 
some Florentine banker or Lombard 
merchant as I question you. For all I 
know, so abundant and simple is this 
poetry, the new Renaissance has been 
born in your country and I shall never 
know of it except by hearsay." He 
answered, " We have other poets, but 
none that are his equal ; we call this 
the epoch of Rabindranath. No poet 
seems to me as famous in Europe as 
he is among us. He is as great in 
music as in poetry, and his songs are 
sung from the west of India into Bur- 
mah wherever Bengali is spoken. He 
was already famous at nineteen when 



INTRODUCTION ix 

he wrote his first novel ; and plays, 
written when he was but little older, 
are still played in Calcutta. I so much 
admire the completeness of his life ; 
when he was very young he wrote 
much of natural objects, he would sit 
all day in his garden ; from his twenty- 
fifth year or so to his thirty-fifth per- 
haps, when he had a great sorrow, he 
wrote the most beautiful love poetry 
in our language " ; and then he said with 
deep emotion, " words can never ex- 
press what I owed at seventeen to his 
love poetry. After that his art grew 
deeper, it became religious and philo- 
sophical ; all the aspirations of man- 
kind are in his hymns. He is the first 
among our saints who has not refused 
to live, but has spoken out of Life it- 
self, and that is why we give him our 
love." I may have changed his well- 
chosen words in my memory but not 
his thought. "A little while ago he 



x GITANJALI 

was to read divine service in one of 
our churches we of the Brahma Samaj 
use your word ' church ' in English it 
was the largest in Calcutta and not 
only was it crowded, people even stand- 
ing in the windows, but the streets 
were all but impassable because of the 
people." 

Other Indians came to see me and 
their reverence for this man sounded 
strange in our world, where we hide 
great and little things under the same 
veil of obvious comedy and half-serious 
depreciation. When we were making 
the cathedrals had we a like reverence 
for our great men ? " Every morning 
at three I know, for I have seen it " 
one said to me, " he sits immovable in 
contemplation, and for two hours does 
not awake from his reverie upon the 
nature of God. His father, the Maha 
Rishi, would sometimes sit there all 
through the next day ; once, upon a 



INTRODUCTION xi 

river, he fell into contemplation because 
of the beauty of the landscape, and the 
rowers waited for eight hours before 
they could continue their journey." He 
then told me of Mr. Tagore's family 
and how for generations great men 
have come out of its cradles. "To- 
day," he said, "there are Gogonen- 
dranath and Abanindranath Tagore, 
who are artists ; and Dwijendranath, 
Rabindranath's brother, who is a great 
philosopher. The squirrels come from 
the boughs and climb on to his knees 
and the birds alight upon his hands." 
I notice in these men's thought a sense 
of visible beauty and meaning as though 
they held that doctrine of Nietzsche 
that we must not believe in the moral 
or intellectual beauty which does not 
sooner or latei impress itself upon 
physical things. I said, " In the East 
you know how to keep a family illustri- 
ous. The other day the curator of a 



xii GITANJALI 

Museum pointed out to me a little 
dark-skinned man who was arranging 
their Chinese prints and said, * That 
is the hereditary connoisseur of the 
Mikado, he is the fourteenth of his 
family to hold the post.'" He 
answered. " When Rabindranath was a 
boy he had all round him in his home 
literature and music." I thought of 
the abundance, of the simplicity of the 
poems, and said, " In your countiy is 
there much propagandist writing, much 
criticism ? We have to do so much, 
especially in my own country, that our 
minds gradually cease to be creative, 
and yet we cannot help it. If our life 
was not a continual warfare, we would 
not have taste, we would not know 
what is good, we would not find hearers 
and readers. Four-fifths of our energy 
is spent in the quarrel with bad taste, 
whether in our own minds or in the 
minds of others." " I understand," he 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

replied, " we too have our propagandist 
writing. In the villages they recite 
long mythological poems adapted from 
the Sanscrit in the Middle Ages, and 
they often insert passages telling the 
people that they must do their duties." 



II 

I have carried the manuscript of 
these translations about with me for 
days, reading it in railway trains, or 
on the top of omnibuses and in restaur- 
ants, and I have often had to close 
it lest some stranger would see how 
much it moved me. These lyrics 
which are in the original, my Indians 
tell me, full of subtlety of rhythm, of 
untranslatable delicacies of colour, of 
metrical invention display in their 
thought a world I have dreamed of 
all my life long. The work of a 
supreme culture, they yet appear as 



xiv GITANJALI 

much the growth of the common soil 
as the grass and the rushes. A tradi- 
tion, where poetry and religion are 
the same thing, has passed through the 
centuries, gathering from learned and 
unlearned metaphor and emotion, and 
carried back again to the multitude 
the thought of the scholar and of the 
noble. If the civilization of Bengal 
remains unbroken, if that common 
mind which as one divines runs 
through all, is not, as with us, broken 
into a dozen minds that know nothing 
of each other, something even of what 
is most subtle in these verses will have 
come, in a few generations, to the 
beggar on the roads. When there 
was but one mind in England Chaucer 
wrote his Troilus and Cressida, and 
though he had written to be read, or 
to be read out for our time was 
coming on apace he was sung by 
minstrels for a while. Rabindranath 



INTRODUCTION xv 

Tagore, like Chaucer's forerunners, 
writes music for his words, and one 
understands at every moment that he 
is so abundant, so spontaneous, so 
daring in his passion, so full of surprise, 
because he is doing something which 
has never seemed strange, unnatural, 
or in need of defence. These verses 
will not lie in little well-printed books 
upon ladies' tables, who turn the pages 
with indolent hands that they may 
sigh over a life without meaning, 
which is yet all they can know of life, 
or be carried about by students at the 
university to be laid aside when the 
work of life begins, but as the genera- 
tions pass, travellers will hum them 
on the highway and men rowing upon 
rivers. Lovers, while they await one 
another, shall find, in murmuring them, 
this love of God a magic gulf wherein 
their own more bitter passion may 
bathe and renew its youth. At every 



xvi GITANJALI 

moment the heart of this poet flows 
outward to these without derogation or 
condescension, for it has known that 
they will understand ; and it has filled 
itself with the circumstance of their 
lives. The traveller in the red-brown 
clothes that he wears that dust may 
not show upon him, the girl searching 
in her bed for the petals fallen from 
the wreath of her royal lover, the 
servant or the bride awaiting the 
master's home - coming in the empty 
house, are images of the heart turning 
to God. Flowers and rivers, the 
blowing of conch shells, the heavy rain 
of the Indian July, or the parching 
heat, are images of the moods of that 
heart in union or in separation ; and 
a man sitting in a boat upon a river 
playing upon a lute, like one of those 
figures full of mysterious meaning in 
a Chinese picture, is God Himself. 
A whole people, a whole civilization, 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

immeasurably strange to us, seems to 
have been taken up into this imagina- 
tion ; and yet we are not moved 
because of its strangeness, but because 
we have met our own image, as though 
we had walked in Rossetti's willow 
wood, or heard, perhaps for the first 
time in literature, our voice as in a 
dream. 

Since the Renaissance the writing of 
European saints however familiar their 
metaphor and the general structure of 
their thought has ceased to hold our 
attention. We know that we must 
at last forsake the world, and we are 
accustomed in moments of weariness 
or exaltation to consider a voluntary 
forsaking; but how can we, who have 
read so much poetry, seen so many 
paintings, listened to so much music, 
where the cry of the flesh and the cry 
of the soul seem one, forsake it harshly 
and rudely ? What have we in common 



xviii GITANJALI 

with St. Bernard covering his eyes that 
they may not dwell upon the beauty of 
the lakes of Switzerland, or with the 
violent rhetoric of the Book of Revela- 
tion? We would, if we might, find, 
as in this book, words full of courtesy. 
" I have got my leave. Bid me fare- 
well, my brothers 1 I bow to you all 
and take my departure. Here I give 
back the keys of my door and I give 
up all claims to my house. I only ask 
for last kind words from you. We 
were neighbours for long, but I received 
more than I could give. Now the day 
has dawned and the lamp that lit my 
dark corner is out. A summons has 
come and I am ready for my journey." 
And it is our own mood, when it is 
furthest from A Kempis or John of the 
Cross, that cries, " And because I love 
this life, I know I shall love death 
as well." Yet it is not only in our 
thoughts of the parting that this book 



INTRODUCTION xix 

fathoms all. We had not known that 
we loved God, hardly it may be that 
we believed in Him ; yet looking back- 
ward upon our life we discover, in our 
exploration of the pathways of woods, 
in our delight in the lonely places of 
hills, in that mysterious claim that we 
have made, unavailingly, on the women 
that we have loved, the emotion 
that created this insidious sweetness. 
"Entering my heart unbidden even 
as one of the common crowd, unknown 
to me, my king, thou didst press the 
signet of eternity upon many a fleet- 
ing moment." This is no longer the 
sanctity of the cell and of the scourge ; 
being but a lifting up, as it were, into a 
greater intensity of the mood of the 
painter, painting the dust and the sun- 
light, and we go for a like voice to St. 
Francis and to William Blake who 
have seemed so alien in our violent 
history. 



xx GITANJALI 



III 

We write long books where no 
page perhaps has any quality to make 
writing a pleasure, being confident in 
some general design, just as we fight 
and make money and fill our heads 
with politics all dull things in the 
doing while Mr. Tagore, like the 
Indian civilization itself, has been con- 
tent to discover the soul and surrender 
himself to its spontaneity. He often 
seems to contrast his life with that of 
those who have lived more after our 
fashion, and have more seeming weight 
in the world, and always humbly as 
though he were only sure his way is 
best for him : " Men going home glance 
at me and smile and fill me with 
shame. I sit like a beggar maid, draw- 
ing my skirt over my face, and when 
they ask me, what it is I want, I drop 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

my eyes and answer them not." At 
another time, remembering how his life 
had once a different shape, he will say, 
"Many an hour have I spent in the 
strife of the good and the evil, but now 
it is the pleasure of my playmate of 
the empty days to draw my heart on 
to him ; and I know not why is this 
sudden call to what useless inconse- 
quence." An innocence, a simplicity 
that one does not find elsewhere in 
literature makes the birds and the 
leaves seem as near to him as they are 
near to children, and the changes of 
the seasons great events as before our 
thoughts had arisen between them and 
us. At times I wonder if he has it 
from the literature of Bengal or from 
religion, and at other times, remember- 
ing the birds alighting on his brother's 
hands, I find pleasure in thinking it 
hereditary, a mystery that was growing 
through the centuries like the courtesy 



xxii GITANJALI 

of a Tristan or a Pelanore. Indeed, 
when he is speaking of children, so 
much a part of himself this quality 
seems, one is not certain that he is not 
also speaking of the saints, " They build 
their houses with sand and they play 
with empty shells. With withered 
leaves they weave their boats and 
smilingly float them on the vast deep. 
Children have their play on the sea- 
shore of worlds. They know not how 
to swim, they know not how to cast 
nets. Pearl fishers dive for pearls, 
merchants sail in their ships, while 
children gather pebbles and scatter 
them again. They seek not for hidden 
treasures, they know not how to cast 
nets." 

W. B. YEATS. 

September 1912. 



THOU hast made me endless, such is 
thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou 
emptiest again and again, and fillest it 
ever with fresh life. 

This little flute of a reed thou hast 
carried over hills and dales, and hast 
breathed through it melodies eternally 
new. 

At the immortal touch of thy hands 
my little heart loses its limits in joy 
and gives birth to utterance ineffable. 

Thy infinite gifts come to me only 
on these very small hands of mine. 
Ages pass, and still thou pourest, and 

still there is room to fill. 

B 



GITANJALI 



WHEN thou commandest me to sing 
it seems that my heart would break 
with pride ; and I look to thy face, and 
tears come to my eyes. 

All that is harsh and dissonant in 
my life melts into one sweet harmony 
and my adoration spreads wings like 
a glad bird on its flight across the sea. 

I know thou takest pleasure in my 
singing. I know that only as a singer 
I come before thy presence. 

I touch by the edge of the far spread- 
ing wing of my song thy feet which I 
could never aspire to reach. 

Drunk with the joy of singing I for- 
get myself and call thee friend who art 
my lord. 



GITANJALI 



I KNOW not how thou singest, my 
master ! I ever listen in silent amaze- 
ment. 

The light of thy music illumines the 
world. The life breath of thy music 
runs from sky to sky. The holy stream 
of thy music breaks through all stony 
obstacles and rushes on. 

My heart longs to join in thy song, 
but vainly struggles for a voice. I 
would speak, but speech breaks not into 
song, and I cry out baffled. Ah, thou 
hast made my heart captive in the end- 
less meshes of thy music, my master ! 



LIFE of my life, I shall ever try to 
keep my body pure, knowing that thy 
living touch is upon all my limbs. 
I shall ever try to keep all untruths 



4 GITANJALI 

out from my thoughts, knowing that 
thou art that truth which has kindled 
the light of reason in my mind. 

I shall ever try to drive all evils away 
from my heart and keep my love in 
flower, knowing that thou hast thy seat 
in the inmost shrine of my heart. 

And it shall be my endeavour to 
reveal thee in my actions, knowing it 
is thy power gives me strength to act. 



I ASK for a moment's indulgence to sit 
by thy side. The works that I have 
in hand I will finish afterwards. 

Away from the sight of thy face my 
heart knows no rest nor respite, and 
my work becomes an endless toil in a 
shoreless sea of toil. 

To-day the summer has come at my 
window with its sighs and murmurs; 



GITANJALI 5 

and the bees are plying their minstrelsy 
at the court of the flowering grove. 

Now it is time to sit quiet, face to 
face with thee, and to sing dedication 
of life in this silent and overflowing 
leisure. 



6 

PLUCK this little flower and take it, 
delay not! I fear lest it droop and 
drop into the dust. 

It may not find a place in thy gar- 
land, but honour it with a touch of 
pain from thy hand and pluck it. I 
fear lest the day end before I am 
aware, and the time of offering go by. 

Though its colour be not deep and 
its smell be faint, use this flower in 
thy service and pluck it while there 
is time. 



GITANJALI 



* 

MY song has put off her adornments. 
She has no pride of dress and decora- 
tion. Ornaments would mar our union ; 
they would come between thee and 
me; their jingling would drown thy 
whispers. 

My poet's vanity dies in shame before 
thy sight. O master poet, I have sat 
down at thy feet. Only let me make 
my life simple and straight, like a flute 
of reed for thee to fill with music. 



8 

THE child who is decked with prince's 
robes and who has jewelled chains 
round his neck loses all pleasure in his 
play ; his dress hampers him* at every 
step. 

In fear that it may be frayed, or 




GITANJALI 7 

stained with dust he keeps himself from 
the world, and is afraid even to move. 

Mother, it is no gain, thy bondage of 
finery, if it keep one shut off from the 
healthful dust of the earth, if it rob 
one of the right of entrance to the 
great fair of common human life. 

9 

O FOOL, to try to carry thyself upon 
thy own shoulders ! O beggar, to come 
to beg at thy own door ! 

Leave all thy burdens on his hands 
who can bear all, and never look behind 
in regret. 

Thy desire at once puts out the light 
from the lamp it touches with its breath. 
It is unholy take not thy gifts through 
its unclean hands. Accept only what 
is offered by sacred love. 



8 GITANJALI 

10 

HERE is thy footstool and there rest 
thy feet where live the poorest, and 
lowliest, and lost. 

When I try to bow to thee, my 
obeisance cannot reach down to the 
depth where thy feet rest among the 
poorest, and lowliest, and lost 

Pride can never approach to where 
thou walkest in the clothes of the 
humble among the poorest, and lowliest, 
and lost. 

My heart can never find its way to 
where thou keepest company with the 
companionless among the poorest, the 
lowliest, and the lost. 

11 

LEAVE this chanting and singing and 
telling of beads ! Whom dost thou 
worship in this lonely dark corner of a 



GITANJALI 9 

temple with doors all shut ? Open 
thine eyes and see thy God is not before 
thee! 

He is there where the tiller is tilling 
the hard ground and where the path- 
maker is breaking stones. He is with 
them in sun and in shower, and his 
garment is covered with dust. Put off 
thy holy mantle and even like him come 
down on the dusty soil ! 

Deliverance ? Where is this deliver- 
ance to be found ? Our master himself 
has joyfully taken upon him the bonds 
of creation ; he is bound with us all for 
ever. 

Come out of thy meditations and 
leave aside thy flowers and incense ! 
What harm is there if thy clothes 
become tattered and stained ? Meet 
him and stand by him in toil and in 
sweat of thy brow. 



10 G1TANJALI 

12 

THE time that my journey takes is long 
and the way of it long. 

I came out on the chariot of the first 
gleam of light, and pursued my voyage 
through the wildernesses of worlds leav- 
ing my track on many a star and planet. 

It is the most distant course that 
comes nearest to thyself, and that 
training is the most intricate which 
leads to the utter simplicity of a tune. 

The traveller has to knock at every 
alien door to come to his own, and one 
has to wander through all the outer 
worlds to reach the innermost shrine 
at the end. 

My eyes strayed far and wide before 
I shut them and said " Here art thou ! " 

The question and the cry "Oh, 
where ? " melt into tears of a thousand 
streams and deluge the world with the 
flood of the assurance " I am 1 " 



GITANJALI 11 



13 

THE song that I came to sing remains 
unsung to this day. 

I have spent my days in stringing 
and in unstringing my instrument. 

The time has not come true, the 
words have not been rightly set ; only 
there is the agony of wishing in my 
heart. 

The blossom has not opened ; only 
the wind is sighing by. 

I have not seen his face, nor have I 
listened to his voice ; only I have heard 
his gentle footsteps from the road before 
my house. 

The livelong day has passed in spread- 
ing his seat on the floor ; but the lamp 
has not been lit and I cannot ask him 
into my house. 

I live in the hope of meeting with 
him ; but this meeting is not yet. 



12 GITANJALI 



14 

MY desires are many and my cry is 
pitiful, but ever didst thou save me by 
hard refusals ; and this strong mercy 
has been wrought into my life through 
and through. 

Day by day thou art making me 
worthy of the simple, great gifts that 
thou gavest to me unasked this sky 
and the light, this body and the life 
and the mind saving me from perils 
of overmucli desire. 

There are times when I languidly 
linger and times when I awaken and 
hurry in search of my goal ; but cruelly 
thou hidest thyself from before me. 

Day by day thou art making me 
worthy of thy full acceptance by refus- 
ing me ever and anon, saving me from 
perils of weak, uncertain desire. 






GITANJALI 13 



15 



I AM here to sing thee songs. In this 

hall of thine I have a corner seat- 
In thy world I have no work to do ; 

my useless life can only break out in 

tunes without a purpose. 

When the hour strikes for thy silent 

worship at the dark temple of midnight, 

command me, my master, to stand 

before thee to sing. 

When in the morning air the golden 

harp is tuned, honour me, commanding 

my presence. 

16 

I HAVE had my invitation to this world's 
festival, and thus my life has been 
blessed. My eyes have seen and my 
ears have heard. 

It was my part at this feast to play 
upon my instrument, and I have done 
all I could. 



14, GITANJALI 

New, I ask, has the time come at 
last when I may go in and see thy face 
and offer thee my silent salutation ? 

17 

I AM only waiting for love to give 
myself up at last into his hands. That 
is why it is so late and why I have 
been guilty of such omissions. 

They come with their laws and their 
codes to bind me fast; but I evade 
them ever, for I am only waiting for 
love to give myself up at last into his 
hands. 

People blame me and call me heed- 
less ; I doubt not they are right in their 
blame. 

The market day is over and work is 
all done for the busy. Those who came 
to call me in vain have gone back in 
anger. I am only waiting for love to 
give myself up at last into his hands. 



GITANJALI 15 



18 

CLOUDS heap upon clouds and it darkens. 
Ah, love, why dost thou let me wait 
outside at the door all alone ? 

In the busy moments of the noontide 
work I am with the crowd, but on this 
dark lonely day it is only for thee that 
I hope. 

If thou showest me not thy face, if 
thou leavest me wholly aside, I know 
not how I am to pass these long, rainy 
hours. 

I keep gazing on the far away gloom 
of the sky, and my heart wanders wail- 
ing with the restless wind. 

19 

IF thou speakest not I will fill my 
heart with thy silence and endure it. I 
will keep still and wait like the night 



16 GITANJALI 

with starry vigil and its head bent low 
with patience. 

The morning will surely come, the 
darkness will vanish, and thy voice pour 
down in golden streams breaking through 
the sky. 

Then thy words will take wing in 
songs from every one of my birds' 
nests, and thy melodies will break forth 
in flowers in all my forest groves. 

20 

ON the day when the lotus bloomed, 
alas, my mind was straying, and I knew 
it not. My basket was empty and the 
flower remained unheeded. 

Only now and again a sadness fell 
upon me, and I started up from my 
dream and felt a sweet trace of a strange 
fragrance in the south wind. 

That vague sweetness made my heart 
ache with longing and it seemed to me 



GITANJALI 17 

that it was the eager breath of the 
summer seeking for its completion. 

I knew not then that it was so near, 
that it was mine, and that this perfect 
sweetness had blossomed in the depth 
of my own heart 



21 

I MUST launch out my boat. The 
languid hours pass by on the shore 
Alas for me ! 

The spring has done its flowering and 
taken leave. And now with the burden 
of faded futile flowers I wait and linger. 

The waves have become clamorous, 
and upon the bank in the shady lane the 
yellow leaves flutter and fall. 

What emptiness do you gaze upon ! 
Do you not feel a thrill passing through 
the air with the notes of the far away 
song floating from the other shore ? 



18 GITANJALI 

22 

IN the deep shadows of the rainy July, 
with secret steps, thou walkest, silent 
as night, eluding all watchers. 

To-day the morning has closed its 
eyes, heedless of the insistent calls of 
the loud east wind, and a thick veil has 
been drawn over the ever-wakeful blue 
sky. 

The woodlands have hushed their 
songs, and doors are all shut at every 
house. Thou art the solitary wayfarer 
in this deserted street. Oh my only 
friend, my best beloved, the gates are 
open in my house do not pass by like 
a dream. 

23 

ART thou abroad on this stormy night 
on thy journey of love, my friend ? The 
sky groans like one in despair. 

I have no sleep to-night. Ever and 



GITANJALI 19 

again I open my door and look out on 
the darkness, my friend ! 

I can see nothing before me. I 
wonder where lies thy path ! 

By what dim shore of the ink-black 
river, by what far edge of the frowning 
forest, through what mazy depth of 
gloom art thou threading thy course 
to come to me, my friend ? 



24 

IF the day is done, if birds sing no 
more, if the wind has flagged tired, 
then draw the veil of darkness thick 
upon me, even as thou hast wrapt the 
earth with the coverlet of sleep and 
tenderly closed the petals of the droop- 
ing lotus at dusk. 

From the traveller, whose sack of 
provisions is empty before the voyage 
is ended, whose garment is torn and 
dust-laden, whose strength is exhausted, 



20 GITANJALI 

remove shame and poverty, and renew 
his life like a flower under the cover of 
thy kindly night. 

25 

IN the night of weariness let me give 
myself up to sleep without struggle, 
resting my trust upon thee. 

Let me not force my flagging spirit 
into a poor preparation for thy worship. 

It is thou who drawest the veil of 
night upon the tired eyes of the day to 
renew its sight in a fresher gladness of 
awakening. 

26 

HE came and sat by my side but I 
woke not. What a cursed sleep it was, 
O miserable me ! 

He came when the night was still; 
he had his harp in his hands, and 
my dreams became resonant with its 
melodies. 



GITANJALI 21 

Alas, why are my nights all thus 
lost? Ah, why do I ever miss his 
sight whose breath touches my sleep ? 



27 

LIGHT, oh where is the light ? Kindle 
it with the burning fire of desire ! 

There is the lamp but never a flicker 
of a flame, is such thy fate, my heart ! 
Ah, death were better by far for thee ! 

Misery knocks at thy door, and her 
message is that thy lord is wakeful, and 
he calls thee to the love-tryst through 
the darkness of night 

The sky is overcast with clouds and 
the rain is ceaseless. I know not what 
this is that stirs in me, I know not its 
meaning. 

A moment's flash of lightning drags 
down a deeper gloom on my sight, and 
my heart gropes for the path to where 
the music of the night calls me. 



22 GITANJALI 

Light, oh where is the light I Kindle 
it with the burning fire of desire 1 It 
thunders and the wind rushes screaming 
through the void. The night is black 
as a black stone. Let not the hours 
pass by in the dark. Kindle the lamp 
of love with thy life. 

28 

OBSTINATE are the trammels, but my 
heart aches when I try to break them. 

Freedom is all I want, but to hope 
for it I feel ashamed. 

I am certain that priceless wealth is 
in thee, and that thou art my best 
friend, but I have not the heart to 
sweep away the tinsel that fills my 
room. 

The shroud that covers me is a 
shroud of dust and death ; I hate it, 
yet hug it in love. 

My debts are large, my failures great, 



GITANJALI 23 

my shame secret and heavy ; yet when 
I come to ask for my good, I quake in 
fear lest my prayer be granted. 



29 

HE whom 1 enclose with my name is 
weeping in this dungeon. I am ever 
busy building this wall all around ; and 
as this wall goes up into the sky day 
by day I lose sight of my true being in 
its dark shadow. 

I take pride in this great wall, and I 
plaster it with dust and sand lest a least 
hole should be left in this name ; and 
for all the care I take I lose sight of 
my true being. 

30 

I CAME out alone on my way to my 
tryst. But who is this that follows me 
in the silent dark ? 



24 GITANJALI 

I move aside to avoid his presence 
but I escape him not. 

He makes the dust rise from the 
earth with his swagger; he adds his 
loud voice to every word that I utter. 

He is my own little self, my lord, 
he knows no shame ; but I am ashamed 
to come to thy door in his company. 



31 



"PRISONER, tell me, who was it that 
bound you ? " 

" It was my master," said the prisoner. 
" I thought I could outdo everybody in 
the world in wealth and power, and I 
amassed in my own treasure-house the 
money due to my king. When sleep 
overcame me I lay upon the bed that 
was for my lord, and on waking up I 
found I was a prisoner in my own 
treasure-house." 



GITANJALI 25 

"Prisoner, tell me who was it that 
wrought this unbreakable chain ? " 

" It was I," said the prisoner, " who 
forged this chain very carefully. I 
thought my invincible power would 
hold the world captive leaving me in a 
freedom undisturbed. Thus night and 
day I worked at the chain with huge 
fires and cruel hard strokes. When at 
last the work was done and the links 
were complete and unbreakable, I 
found that it held me in its grip." 

32 

BY all means they try to hold me 
secure who love me in this world. But 
it is otherwise with thy love which is 
greater than theirs, and thou keepest 
me free. 

Lest I forget them they never venture 
to leave me alone. But day passes by 
after day and thou art not seen. 



26 GITANJALI 

If I call not thee in my prayers, if I 
keep not thee in my heart, thy love for 
me still waits for my love. 



33 

WHEN it was day they came into my 
house and said, "We shall only take 
the smallest room here." 

They said, " We shall help you in the 
worship of your God and humbly accept 
only our own share of his grace " ; and 
then they took their seat in a corner 
and they sat quiet and meek. 

But in the darkness of night I find 
they break into my sacred shrine, strong 
and turbulent, and snatch with unholy 
greed the offerings from God's altar. 



34 

LET only that little be left of me 
whereby I may name thee my all. 



GITANJALI 27 

Let only that little be left of my will 
whereby I may feel thee on every side, 
and come to thee in everything, and 
offer to thee my love every moment. 

Let only that little be left of me 
whereby I may never hide thee. 

Let only that little of my fetters be 
left whereby I am bound with thy will, 
and thy purpose is carried out in my 
life and that is the fetter of thy love. 

35 V 

\VHERE the mind is without fear and 
the head is held high ; 

Where knowledge is free ; 

Where the world has not been broken 
up into fragments by narrow domestic 
walls ; 

Where words come out from the 
depth of truth ; 

Where tireless striving stretches its 
arms towards perfection ; 



28 GITANJALI 

Where the clear stream of reason has 
not lost its way into the dreary desert 
sand of dead habit ; 

Where the mind is led forward by 
thee into ever-widening thought and 
action 

Into that heaven of freedom, my 
Father, let my country awake. 

36 

V THIS is my prayer to thee, my lord- 
strike, strike at the root of penury in 
my heart. 

Give me the strength lightly to bear 
my joys and sorrows. 

Give me the strength to make my 
love fruitful in service. 

Give me the strength never to disown 
the poor or bend my knees before 
insolent might 

Give me the strength to raise my 
mind high above daily trifles. 






GITANJALI 29 

/ 

And give me the strength to surrender 

my strength to thy will with love. 

37 

I THOUGHT that my voyage had come 
to its end at the last limit of my power, 
that the path before me was closed, 
that provisions were exhausted and the 
time come to take shelter in a silent 
obscurity. 

But I find that thy will knows no 
end in me. And when old words die 
out on the tongue, new melodies break 
forth from the heart; and where the 
old tracks are lost, new country is 
revealed with its wonders. 

/ 38 

THAT I want thee, only thee let my 
heart repeat without end. All desires 
that distract me, day and night, are 
false and empty to the core. 



30 GITANJALI 

As the night keeps hidden in its 
gloom the petition for light, even thus 
in the depth of my unconsciousness 
rings the cry I want thee, only thee. 
^^As the storm still seeks its end in 
peace when it strikes against peace 
with all its might, even thus my rebel- 
lion strikes against thy love and still its 
cry is I want thee, only thee. 

39 

WHEN the heart is hard and parched 
up, come upon me with a shower of 
mercy. 

When grace is lost from life, come 
with a burst of song. 

When tumultuous work raises its din 
on all sides shutting me out from beyond, 
come to me, my lord of silence, with 
thy peace and rest. 

When my beggarly heart sits crouched, 
shut up in a corner, break open the door, 



GITANJALI 31 

my king, and come with the ceremony 
of a king. 

When desire blinds the mind with 
delusion and dust, O thou holy one, 
thou wakeful, come with thy light and 
thy thunder. 



40 

THE rain has held back for days and 
days, my God, in my arid heart. The 
horizon is fiercely naked not the thin- 
nest cover of a soft cloud, not the 
vaguest hint of a distant cool shower. 

Send thy angry storm, dark with 
death, if it is thy wish, and with lashes 
of lightning startle the sky from end to 
end. 

But call back, my lord, call back 
this pervading silent heat, still and keen 
and cruel, burning the heart with dire 
despair. 

Let the cloud of grace bend low from 




32 GITANJALI 

above like the tearful look of the mother 
on the day of the father's wrath. 

41 

WHERE dost thou stand behind them 
all, my lover, hiding thyself in the 
shadows? They push thee and pass 
thee by on the dusty road, taking thee 
for naught. I wait here weary hours 
spreading my offerings for thee, while 
passers by come and take my flowers, 
one by one, and my basket is nearly 
/Tmpty. 

^J/ The morning time is past, and the 
noon. In the shade of evening my 
eyes are drowsy with sleep. Men going 
home glance at me and smile and fill 
me with shame. I sit like a beggar 
maid, drawing my skirt over my face, 
and when they ask me, what it is I 
want, I drop my eyes and answer them 
not 



GITANJALI 33 

Oh, how, indeed, could I tell them 
that for thee I wait, and that thou hast 
promised to come. How could I utter 
for shame that I keep for my dowry 
this poverty. Ah, I hug this pride in 
the secret of my heart. 

I sit on the grass and gaze upon the 
sky and dream of the sudden splendour 
of thy coming all the lights ablaze, 
golden pennons flying over thy car, 
and they at the roadside standing 
agape, when they see thee come 
down from thy seat to raise me from 
the dust, and set at thy side this 
ragged beggar girl a -tremble with 
shame and pride, like a creeper in a 
summer breeze. 

But time glides on and still no sound 
of the wheels of thy chariot. Many a 
procession passes by with noise and 
shouts and glamour of glory. Is it only 
thou who wouldst stand in the shadow 
silent and behind them all ? And only I 



34 GITANJALI 

who would wait and weep and wear out 
my heart in vain longing ? 



42 

EARLY in the day it was whispered that 
we should sail in a boat, only thou and 
I, and never a soul in the world would 
know of this our pilgrimage to no 
country and to no end. 

In that shoreless ocean, at thy silently 
listening smile my songs would swell 
in melodies, free as waves, free from all 
bondage of words. 

Is the time not come yet ? Are there 
works still to do ? Lo, the evening 
has come down upon the shore and in 
the fading light the seabirds come 
flying to their nests. 

Who knows when the chains will be 
off, and the boat, like the last glimmer 
of sunset, vanish into the night ? 



GITANJALI 35 



43 

THE day was when I did not keep my- 
self in readiness for thee ; and entering 
my heart unbidden even as one of the 
common crowd, unknown to me, my 
king, thou didst press the signet of 
eternity upon many a fleeting moment 
of my life. 

And to-day when by chance I light 
upon them and see thy signature, I 
find they have lain scattered in the 
dust mixed with the memory of joys 
and sorrows of my trivial days forgotten. 

Thou didst not turn in contempt 
from my childish play among dust, and 
the steps that I heard in my playroom 
are the same that are echoing from star 
to star. 



36 GITANJALI 

44 

THIS is my delight, thus to wait and 
watch at the wayside where shadow 
chases light and the rain comes in the 
wake of the summer. 

Messengers, with tidings from un- 
known skies, greet me and speed along 
the road. My heart is glad within, and 
the breath of the passing breeze is 
sweet. 

From dawn till dusk I sit here before 
my door, and I know that of a sudden 
the happy moment will arrive when I 
shall see. 

In the meanwhile I smile and I sing 
all alone. In the meanwhile the air is 
filling with the perfume of promise. 

45 

HAVE you not heard his silent steps ? 
He comes, comes, ever comes. 



GITANJALI 37 

Every moment and every age, every 
day and every night he comes, comes, 
ever comes. 

Many a song have I sung in many a 
mood of mind, but all their notes have 
always proclaimed, " He comes, comes, 



ever comes." 



In the fragrant days of sunny April 
through the forest path he comes, 
comes, ever comes. 

In the rainy gloom of July nights on 
the thundering chariot of clouds he 
comes, comes, ever comes. 

In sorrow after sorrow it is his steps 
that press upon my heart, and it is 
the golden touch of his feet that 
makes my joy to shine. 



46 

I KNOW not from what distant time 
thou art ever coming nearer to meet 



38 GITANJALI 

me. Thy sun and stars can never 
keep thee hidden from me for aye. 

In many a morning and eve thy 
footsteps have been heard and thy 
messenger has come within my heart 
and called me in secret. 

I know not why to-day my life is all 
astir, and a feeling of tremulous joy is 
passing through my heart. 

It is as if the time were come to 
wind up my work, and I feel in the air 
a faint smell of thy sweet presence. 

47 

THE night is nearly spent waiting for 
him in vain. I fear lest in the morning 
he suddenly come to my door when I 
have fallen asleep wearied out Oh 
friends, leave the way open to him 
forbid him not 

If the sound of his steps does not 
wake me, do not try to rouse me, I 






GITANJALI 39 

pray. I wish not to be called from my 
sleep by the clamorous choir of birds, 
by the riot of wind at the festival of 
morning light. Let me sleep undis- 
turbed even if my lord comes of a 
sudden to my door. 

Ah, my sleep, precious sleep, which 
only waits for his touch to vanish. 
Ah, .my closed eyes that would open 
their lids only to the light of his smile 
when he stands before me like a dream 
emerging from darkness of sleep. 

Let him appear before my sight as 
the first of all lights and all forms. 
The first thrill of joy to my awakened 
soul let it come from his glance. And 
let my return to myself be immediate 
return to him. 



48 

THE morning sea of silence broke into 
ripples of bird songs ; and the flowers 



40 GITANJALI 

were all merry by the roadside ; and 
the wealth of gold was scattered 
through the rift of the clouds while 
we busily went on our way and paid no 
heed. 

We sang no glad songs nor played ; 
we went not to the village for barter ; 
we spoke not a word nor smiled ; 
we lingered not on the way. We 
quickened our pace more and more as 
the time sped by. 

The sun rose to the mid sky and 
doves cooed in the shade. Withered 
leaves danced and whirled in the hot 
ah* of noon. The shepherd boy drowsed 
and dreamed in the shadow of the 
banyan tree, and I laid myself down 
by the water and stretched my tired 
limbs on the grass. 

My companions laughed at me in 
scorn ; they held their heads high and 
hurried on ; they never looked back nor 
rested ; they vanished in the distant 



GITANJALI 41 

blue haze. They crossed many meadows 
and hills, and passed through strange, 
far - away countries. All honour to 
you, heroic host of the interminable 
path ! Mockery and reproach pricked 
me to rise, but found no response in 
me. I gave myself up for lost in the 
depth of a glad humiliation in the 
shadow of a dim delight. 

The repose of the sun-embroidered 
green gloom slowly spread over my 
heart. I forgot for what I had travelled, 
and I surrendered my mind without 
struggle to the maze of shadows and 
songs. 

At last, when I woke from my 
slumber and opened my eyes, I saw 
thee standing by me, flooding my sleep 
with thy smile. How I had feared 
that the path was long and wearisome, 
and the struggle to reach thee was 
hard ! 



42 GITANJALI 

49 

You came down from your throne and 
stood at my cottage door. 

I was singing all alone in a corner, 
and the melody caught your ear. You 
came down and stood at my cottage 
door. 

Masters are many in your hall, and 
songs are sung there at all hours. But 
the simple carol of this novice struck 
at your love. One plaintive little strain 
mingled with the great music of the 
world, and with a flower for a prize you 
came down and stopped at my cottage 
door. 

/ 50 / 

I HAD gone a-begging from door to 
door in the village path, when thy 
golden chariot appeared in the distance 
like a gorgeous dream and I wondered 
who was this King of all kings ! 



GITANJALI 43 

My hopes rose high and methought 
my evil days were at an end, and I 
stood waiting for alms to be given 
unasked and for wealth scattered on 
all sides in the dust. 

The chariot stopped where I stood. 
Thy glance fell on me and thou earnest 
down with a smile. I felt that the luck 
of my life had come at last. Then of 
a sudden thou didst hold out thy right 
hand and say " What hast thou to give 
tome?" 

Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open 
thy palm to a beggar to beg 1 I was 
confused and stood undecided, and then 
from my wallet I slowly took out the least 
little grain of corn and gave it to thee. 

But how great my surprise when at 
the day's end I emptied my bag on the 
floor to find a least little grain of gold 
among the poor heap. I bitterly wept 
and wished that I had had the heart to 
give thee my all. 



44 GITANJALI 

51 

THE night darkened. Our day's works 
had been done. We thought that 
the last guest had arrived for the night 
and the doors in the village were all 
shut. Only some said, The king was 
to come. We laughed and said "No, 
it cannot be ! " 

It seemed there were knocks at the 
door and we said it was nothing but 
the wind. We put out the lamps and 
lay down to sleep. Only some said, 
" It is the messenger 1 " We laughed 
and said " No, it must be the wind ! " 

There came a sound in the dead of 
the night. We sleepily thought it was 
the distant thunder. The earth shook, 
the walls rocked, and it troubled us in 
our sleep. Only some said, it was the 
sound of wheels. We said in a drowsy 
murmur, " No, it must be the rumbling 
of clouds!" 



GITANJAL1 45 

The night was still dark when the 
drum sounded. The voice came " Wake 
up 1 delay not ! " We pressed our hands 
on our hearts and shuddered with fear. 
Some said, "Lo, there is the king's 
flag!" We stood up on our feet and 
cried " There is no time for delay ! " 

The king has come but where are 
lights, where are wreaths ? Where is 
the throne to seat him ? Oh, shame, 
Oh utter shame ! Where is the hall, 
the decorations ? Some one has said, 
x " Vain is this cry ! Greet him with 
empty hands, lead him into thy rooms 
all bare!" : 

Open the doors, let the conch-shells 
be sounded ! In the depth of the 
night has come the king of our dark, 
dreary house. The thunder roars in 
the sky. The darkness shudders with 
lightning. Bring out thy tattered 
piece of mat and spread it in the 
courtyard. With the storm has come 



46 GITANJALI 

of a sudden our king of the fearful 
night. 



52 

I THOUGHT I should ask of thee but 
I dared not the rose wreath thou 
hadst on thy neck. Thus I waited 
for the morning, when thou didst 
depart, to find a few fragments on the 
bed. And like a beggar I searched 
in the dawn only for a stray petal or 
two. 

Ah me, what is it I find? What 
token left of thy love? It is no 
flower, no spices, no vase of perfumed 
water. It is thy mighty sword, 
flashing as a flame, heavy as a bolt 
of thunder. The young light of 
morning comes through the window 
and spreads itself upon thy bed. The 
morning bird twitters and asks, 
" Woman, what hast thou got ? " No, 



GITANJALI 47 

it is no flower, nor spices, nor vase of 
perfumed water it is thy dreadful 
sword. 

I sit and muse in wonder, what gift 
is this of thine. I can find no place 
where to hide it. I am ashamed to 
wear it, frail as I am, and it hurts me 
when I press it to my bosom. Yet 
shall I bear in my heart this honour 
of the burden of pain, this gift of thine. 

From now there shall be no fear 
left for me in this world, and thou 
shalt be victorious in all my strife. 
Thou hast left death for my companion 
and I shall crown him with my life. 
Thy sword is with me to cut asunder 
my bonds, and there shall be no fear 
left for me in the world. 

From now I leave off all petty 
decorations. Lord of my heart, no 
more shall there be for me waiting and 
weeping in corners, no more coyness 
and sweetness of demeanour. Thou 



48 GITANJALI 

hast given me thy sword for adornment. 
No more doll's decorations for me I 



53 

BEAUTIFUL is thy wristlet, decked 
with stars and cunningly wrought in 
myriad - coloured jewels. But more 
beautiful to me thy sword with its 
curve of lightning like the outspread 
wings of the divine bird of Vishnu, 
perfectly poised in the angry red light 
of the sunset. 

It quivers like the one last response 
of life in ecstasy of pain at the final 
stroke of death ; it shines like the pure 
flame of being burning up earthly sense 
with one fierce flash. 

Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked 
with starry gems ; but thy sword, O 
lord of thunder, is wrought with 
uttermost beauty, terrible to behold 
or to think of. 



GITANJALI 49 

54 

I ASKED nothing from thee ; I uttered 
not my name to thine ear. When 
thou took'st thy leave I stood silent. 
I was alone by the well where the 
shadow of the tree fell aslant, and 
the women had gone home with their 
brown earthen pitchers full to the 
brim. They called me and shouted, 
" Come with us, the morning is wearing 
on to noon." But I languidly lingered 
awhile lost in the midst of vague 
musings. 

I heard not thy steps as thou earnest. 
Thine eyes were sad when they fell 
on me ; thy voice was tired as thou 
spokest low "Ah, I am a thirsty 
traveller." I started up from my day- 
dreams and poured water from my 
jar on thy joined palms. The leaves 
rustled overhead ; the cuckoo sang 
from the unseen dark, and perfume of 



50 GITANJALI 

babla flowers came from the bend of 
the road. 

I stood speechless with shame when 
my name thou didst ask. Indeed, 
what had I done for thee to keep me 
in remembrance ? But the memory 
that I could give water to thee to 
allay thy thirst will cling to my heart 
and enfold it in sweetness. The 
morning hour is late, the bird sings 
in weary notes, neem leaves rustle 
overhead and I sit and think and 
think. 

55 

LANGUOR is upon your heart and the 
slumber is still on your eyes. 

Has not the word come to you that 
the flower is reigning in splendour 
among thorns ? Wake, oh awaken ! 
Let not the time pass in vain ! 

At the end of the stony path, in 
the country of virgin solitude my 



G1TANJALI 51 

friend is sitting all alone. Deceive 
him not. Wake, oh awaken ! 

What if the sky pants and trembles 
with the heat of the midday sun what 
if the burning sand spreads its mantle 
of thirst- 
Is there no joy in the deep of your 
heart ? At every footfall of yours, 
will not the harp of the road break 
out in sweet music of pain ? 

56 

THUS it is that thy joy in me is so 
full. Thus it is that thou hast come 
down to me. O thou lord of all 
heavens, where would be thy love if I 
were not ? 

Thou hast taken me as thy partner 
of all this wealth. In my heart is the 
endless play of thy delight. In my life 
thy will is ever taking shape. 

And for this, thou who art the King 



52 GITANJALI 

of kings hast decked thyself in beauty 
to captivate my heart. And for this 
thy love loses itself in the love of thy 
lover, and there art thou seen in the 
perfect union of two. 



57 

LIGHT, my light, the world-filling light, 
the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening 
light ! 

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at 
the centre of my life ; the light strikes, 
my darling, the chords of my love ; the 
sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter 
passes over the earth. 

The butterflies spread their sails on 
the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines 
surge up on the crest of the waves of 
light 

The light is shattered into gold on 
every cloud, my darling, and it scatters 
gems in profusion. 



GITANJALI 53 

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my 
darling, and gladness without measure. 
The heaven's river has drowned its 
banks and the flood of joy is abroad. 

58 

LET all the strains of joy mingle in my 
last song the joy that makes the earth 
flow over in the riotous excess of the 
grass, the joy that sets the twin brothers, 
life and death, dancing over the wide 
world, the joy that sweeps in with the 
tempest, shaking and waking all life 
with laughter, the joy that sits still with 
its tears on the open red lotus of pain, 
and the joy that throws everything it 
has upon the dust, and knows not a 
word. 

59 

YES, I know, this is nothing but thy 
love, O beloved of my heart this golden 



54 GITANJALI 

light that dances upon the leaves, these 
idle clouds sailing across the sky, this 
passing breeze leaving its coolness upon 
my forehead. 

The morning light has flooded my 
eyes this is thy message to my heart. 
Thy face is bent from above, thy eyes 
look down on my eyes, and my heart 
has touched thy feet. 



60 

ON the seashore of endless worlds 
children meet. The infinite sky is 
motionless overhead and the restless 
water is boisterous. On the seashore 
of endless worlds the children meet 
with shouts and dances. 

They build their houses with sand 
and they play with empty shells. With 
withered leaves they weave their boats 
and smilingly float them on the vast 






GITANJALI 55 

deep. Children have their play on the 
seashore of worlds. 

They know not how to swim, they 
know not how to cast nets. Pearl 
fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in 
their ships, while children gather pebbles 
and scatter them again. They seek not 
for hidden treasures, they know not how 
to cast nets. 

The sea surges up with laughter and 
pale gleams the smile of the sea beach. 
Death-dealing waves sing meaningless 
ballads to the children, even like a 
mother while rocking her baby's cradle. 
The sea plays with children, and pale 
gleams the smile of the sea beach. 

On the seashore of endless worlds 
children meet. Tempest roams in the 
pathless sky, ships get wrecked in the 
trackless water, death is abroad and 
children play. On the seashore of end- 
less worlds is the great meeting of 
children. 



56 GITANJALI 

61 

THE sleep that flits on baby's eyes 
does anybody know from where it 
comes? Yes, there is a rumour that 
it has its dwelling where, in the fairy 
village among shadows of the forest 
dimly lit with glow-worms, there hang 
two timid buds of enchantment. From 
there it comes to kiss baby's eyes. 

The smile that flickers on baby's lips 
when he sleeps does anybody know 
where it was born ? Yes, there is a 
rumour that a young pale beam of a 
crescent moon touched the edge of a 
vanishing autumn cloud, and there the 
smile was first born in the dream of a 
dew- washed morning the smile that 
flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps. 

The sweet, soft freshness that blooms 
on baby's limbs does anybody know 
where it was hidden so long ? Yes, 
when the mother was a young girl it 



GITANJALI 57 

lay pervading her heart in tender and 
silent mystery of love the sweet, soft 
freshness that has bloomed on baby's 
limbs. 

62 \/ 

WHEN I bring to you coloured toys, 
my child, I understand why there is 
such a play of colours on clouds, on 
water, and why flowers are painted in 
tints when I give coloured toys to 
you, my child. 

When I sing to make you dance I 
truly know why there is music in leaves, 
and why waves send their chorus of 
voices to the heart of the listening 
earth when I sing to make you dance. 

When I bring sweet things to your 
greedy hands I know why there is 
honey in the cup of the flower and why 
fruits are secretly filled with sweet juice 
when I bring sweet things to your 
greedy hands. 



58 GITANJALI 

When I kiss your face to make you 
smile, my darling, I surely understand 
what the pleasure is that streams from 
the sky in morning light, and what 
delight that is which the summer breeze 
brings to my body when I kiss you to 
make you smile. 

63 

THOU hast made me known to friends 
whom I knew not. Thou hast given 
me seats in homes not my own. Thou 
hast brought the distant near and 
made a brother of the stranger. 

I am uneasy at heart when I have to 
leave my accustomed shelter ; I forget 
that there abides the old in the new, 
and that there also thou abidest. 

Through birth and death, in this 
world or in others, wherever thou 
leadest me it is thou, the same, the 
one companion of my endless life who 



GITANJALI 59 

ever linkest my heart with bonds of 
joy to the unfamiliar. 

When one knows thee, then alien 
there is none, then no door is shut. 
Oh, grant me my prayer that I may 
never lose the bliss of the touch of the 
one in the play of the many. 

64 



ON the slope of the desolate river among 
tall grasses I asked her, " Maiden, where 
do you go shading your lamp with your 
mantle? My house is all dark and 
lonesome lend me your light!" She 
raised her dark eyes for a moment and 
looked at my face through the dusk. 
"I have come to the river," she said, 
" to float my lamp on the stream when 
the daylight wanes in the west." I 
stood alone among tall grasses and 
watched the timid flame of her lamp 
uselessly drifting in the tide. 



60 GITANJALI 

In the silence of gathering night I 
asked her, "Maiden, your lights are all 
lit then where do you go with your 
lamp ? My house is all dark and lone- 
some, lend me your light" She raised 
her dark eyes on my face and stood for 
a moment doubtful. " I have come," 
she said at last, " to dedicate my lamp 
to the sky." I stood and watched her 
light uselessly burning in the void. 

In the moonless gloom of midnight I 
asked her, " Maiden, what is your quest 
holding the lamp near your heart ? My 
house is all dark and lonesome, lend 
me your light." She stopped for a 
minute and thought and gazed at my 
face in the dark. " I have brought my 
light," she said, "to join the carnival of 
lamps." I stood and watched her little 
lamp uselessly lost among lights. 






GITANJALI 61 



65 



WHAT divine drink wouldst thou have, 
my God, from this overflowing cup of 
my life ? 

My poet, is it thy delight to see thy 
creation through my eyes and to stand 
at the portals of my ears silently to 
listen to thine own eternal harmony ? 

Thy world is weaving words in my 
mind and thy joy is adding music to 
them. Thou givest thyself to me in 
love and then feelest thine own entire 
sweetness in me. 



SHE who ever had remained in the 
depth of my being, in the twilight of 
gleams and of glimpses ; she who never 
opened her veils in the morning light, 
will be my last gift to thee, my God, 
folded in my final song. 



62 GITANJALI 

Words have wooed yet failed to win 
her ; persuasion has stretched to her its 
eager arms in vain. 

I have roamed from country to 
country keeping her in the core of my 
heart, and around her have risen and 
fallen the growth and decay of my life. 

Over my thoughts and actions, my 
slumbers and dreams, she reigned yet 
dwelled alone and apart. 

Many a man knocked at my door 
and asked for her and turned away in 
despair. 

There was none in the world who 
ever saw her face to face, and she 
remained in her loneliness waiting for 
thy recognition. 

67 

THOU art the sky and thou art the nest 
as well. 

O thou beautiful, there in the nest it 



GITANJALI 63 

is thy love that encloses the soul with 
colours and sounds and odours. 

There comes the morning with the 
golden basket in her right hand bearing 
the wreath of beauty, silently to crown 
the earth. 

And there comes the evening over 
the lonely meadows deserted by herds, 
through trackless paths, carrying cool 
draughts of peace in her golden pitcher 
from the western ocean of rest. 

But there, where spreads the infinite 
sky for the soul to take her flight in, 
reigns the stainless white radiance. 
There is no day nor night, nor form nor 
colour, and never, never a word. 



68 



THY sunbeam comes upon this earth of 
mine with arms outstretched and stands 
at my door the livelong day to carry 



64 GITANJALI 

back to thy feet clouds made of my 
tears and sighs and songs. 

With fond delight thou wrappest 
about thy starry breast that mantle of 
misty cloud, turning it into numberless 
shapes and folds and colouring it with 
hues ever changing. 

It is so light and so fleeting, tender 
and tearful and dark, that is why thou 
lovest it, O thou spotless and serene. 
And that is why it may cover thy 
awful white light with its pathetic 
shadows. 



69 

THE same stream of life that runs 
through my veins night and day runs 
through the world and dances in 
rhythmic measures. 

It is the same life that shoots in joy 
through the dust of the earth in 
numberless blades of grass and breaks 



GITANJALI 65 

into tumultuous waves of leaves and 
flowers. 

It is the same life that is rocked in 
the ocean-cradle of birth and of death, 
in ebb and in flow. 

I feel my limbs are made glorious by 
the touch of this world of life. And my 
pride is from the life -throb of ages 
dancing in my blood this moment. 

70 

Is it beyond thee to be glad with the 
gladness of this rhythm ? to be tossed 
and lost and broken in the whirl of this 
fearful joy ? 

All things rush on, they stop not, 
they look not behind, no power can 
hold them back, they rush on. 

Keeping steps with that restless, rapid 
music, seasons come dancing and pass 
away colours, tunes, and perfumes 
pour in endless cascades in the abound- 

F 



66 GITANJALI 

ing joy that scatters and gives up and 
dies every moment. 

71 

THAT I should make much of myself 
and turn it on all sides, thus casting 
coloured shadows on thy radiance 
such is thy maya. 

Thou settest a barrier in thine own 
being and then callest thy severed self 
in myriad notes. This thy self-separa- 
tion has taken body in me. 

The poignant song is echoed through 
all the sky in many-coloured tears and 
smiles, alarms and hopes ; waves rise up 
and sink again, dreams break and form. 
In me is thy own defeat of self. 

This screen that thou hast raised is 
painted with innumerable figures with 
the brush of the night and the day. 
Behind it thy seat is woven in wondrous 
mysteries of curves, casting away all 
barren lines of straightness. 



GITANJALI 67 

The great pageant of thee and me 
has overspread the sky. With the 
tune of thee and me all the air is 
vibrant, and all ages pass with the hiding 
and seeking of thee and me. 



72 



HE it is, the innermost one, who 
awakens my being with his deep hidden 
touches. 

He it is who puts his enchantment 
upon these eyes and joyfully plays on 
the chords of my heart in varied cadence 
of pleasure and pain. 

He it is who weaves the web of this 
maya in evanescent hues of gold and 
silver, blue and green, and lets peep out 
through the folds his feet, at whose 
touch I forget myself. 

Days come and ages pass, and it is 
ever he who moves my heart in many a 



68 GITANJALI 

name, in many a guise, in many a 
rapture of joy and of sorrow. 



73 



DELIVERANCE is not for me in renuncia- 
tion. I feel the embrace of freedom in 
a thousand bonds of delight. 

Thou ever pourest for me the fresh 
draught of thy wine of various colours 
and fragrance, filling this earthen vessel 
to the brim. 

My world will light its hundred 
different lamps with thy flame and 
place them before the altar of thy 
temple. 

No, I will never shut the doors of 
my senses. The delights of sight and 
hearing and touch will bear thy delight. 

Yes, all my illusions will burn into 
illumination of joy, and all my desires 
ripen into fruits of love. 



GITANJALI 69 

74 

THE day is no more, the shadow is upon 
the earth. It is time that I go to the 
stream to fill my pitcher. 

The evening air is eager with the sad 
music of the water. Ah, it calls me out 
into the dusk. In the lonely lane there 
is no passer by, the wind is up, the 
ripples are rampant in the river. 

I know not if I shall come back 
home. I know not whom I shall 
chance to meet. There at the fording 
in the little boat the unknown man 
plays upon his lute. 

75 

THY gifts to us mortals fulfil all our 
needs and yet run back to thee un- 
diminished. 

The river has its everyday work to 
do and hastens through fields and 



70 GITANJALI 

hamlets ; yet its incessant stream winds 
towards the washing of thy feet. 

The flower sweetens the air with its 
perfume ; yet its last service is to offer 
itself to thee. 

Thy worship does not impoverish the 
world. 

From the words of the poet men take 
what meanings please them ; yet their 
last meaning points to thee. 



76 



DAY after day, O lord of my life, shall 
I stand before thee face to face ? With 
folded hands, O lord of all worlds, shall 
I stand before thee face to face ? 

Under thy great sky in solitude and 
silence, with humble heart shall I stand 
before thee face to face ? 

In this laborious world of thine, 
tumultuous with toil and with struggle, 



GITANJALI 71 

among hurrying crowds shall I stand 
before thee face to face ? 

And when my work shall be done in 
this world, O King of kings, alone and 
speechless shall I stand before thee 
face to face ? 



77 / 



I KNOW thee as my God and stand 
apart I do not know thee as my own 
and come closer. I know thee as my 
father and bow before thy feet I do 
not grasp thy hand as my friend's. 

I stand not where thou comest down 
and ownest thyself as mine, there to 
clasp thee to my heart and take thee as 
my comrade. 

Thou art the Brother amongst my 
brothers, but I heed them not, I divide 
not my earnings with them, thus sharing 
my all with thee. 

In pleasure and in pain I stand not 



72 GITANJALI 

by the side of men, and thus stand 
by thee. I shrink to give up my 
life, and thus do not plunge into the 
great, waters of life. 

78 

WHEN the creation was new and all 
the stars shone in their first splendour, 
the gods held their assembly in the sky 
and sang " Oh, the picture of perfec- 
tion I the joy unalloyed ! " 

But one cried of a sudden " It seems 
that somewhere there is a break in the 
chain of light and one of the stars has 
been lost." 

The golden string of their harp 
snapped, their song stopped, and they 
cried in dismay "Yes, that lost star 
was the best, she was the glory of all 
heavens ! " 

From that day the search is un- 
ceasing for her, and the cry goes on 






GITANJALI 73 

from one to the other that in her the 
world has lost its one joy ! 

Only in the deepest silence of night 
the stars smile and whisper among 
themselves " Vain is this seeking ! 
Unbroken perfection is over all ! " A ^ 

79 

IF it is not my portion to meet thee in 
this my life then let me ever feel that 
I have missed thy sight let me not 
forget for a moment, let me carry the 
pangs of this sorrow in my dreams and 
in my wakeful hours. 

As my days pass in the crowded 
market of this world and my hands 
grow full with the daily profits, let me 
ever feel that I have gained nothing 
let me not forget for a moment, let me 
carry the pangs of this sorrow in my 
dreams and in my wakeful hours. 

When I sit by the roadside, tired 



74 GITANJALI 

and panting, when I spread my bed low 
in the dust, let me ever feel that the 
long journey is still before me let me 
not forget for a moment, let me carry 
the pangs of this sorrow in my dreams 
and in my wakeful hours. 

When my rooms have been decked 
out and the flutes sound and the laughter 
there is loud, let me ever feel that I 
have not invited thee to my house- 
let me not forget for a moment, let me 
carry the pangs of this sorrow in my 
dreams and in my wakeful hours. 



80 

I AM like a remnant of a cloud of 
autumn uselessly roaming in the sky, O 
my sun ever-glorious ! Thy touch has 
not yet melted my vapour, making me 
one with thy light, and thus I count 
months and years separated from thee. 
If this be thy wish and if this be thy 






GITANJALI 75 

play, then take this fleeting emptiness 
of mine, paint it with colours, gild it 
with gold, float it on the wanton wind 
and spread it in varied wonders. 

And again when it shall be thy wish 
to end this play at night, I shall melt 
and vanish away in the dark, or it may 
be in a smile of the white morning, in a 
coolness of purity transparent. 



81 

ON many an idle day have I grieved 
over lost time. But it is never lost, my 
lord. Thou hast taken every moment 
of my life in thine own hands. 

Hidden in the heart of things thou 
art nourishing seeds into sprouts, buds 
into blossoms, and ripening flowers into 
fruitfulness. 

I was tired and sleeping on my idle 
bed and imagined all work had ceased. 



76 GITANJALI 

In the morning I woke up and found 
my garden full with wonders of flowers. 



82 

TIME is endless in thy hands, my lord. 
There is none to count thy minutes. 

Days and nights pass and ages bloom 
and fade like flowers. Thou knowest 
how to wait. 

Thy centuries follow each other 
perfecting a small wild flower. 

We have no time to lose, and having 
no time we must scramble for our 
chances. We are too poor to be late. 

And thus it is that time goes by 
while I give it to every querulous man 
who claims it, and thine altar is empty 
of all offerings to the last. 

At the end of the day I hasten in 
fear lest thy gate be shut ; but I find 
that yet there is time. 



GITANJALI 77 

83 

MOTHER, I shall weave a chain of 
pearls for thy neck with my tears of 
sorrow. 

The stars have wrought their anklets 
of light to deck thy feet, but mine will 
hang upon thy breast. 

Wealth and fame come from thee 
and it is for thee to give or to ~vithhold 
them. But this my sorrow is absolutely 
mine own, and when I bring it to thee 
as my offering thou rewardest me with 
thy grace. 

84 

IT is the pang of separation that spreads 
throughout the world and gives birth 
to shapes innumerable in the infinite sky. 
It is this sorrow of separation that 
gazes in silence all night from star to 
star and becomes lyric among rustling 
leaves in rainy darkness of July. 



78 GITANJALI 

It is this overspreading pain that 
deepens into loves and desires, into 
sufferings and joys in human homes ; 
and this it is that ever melts and flows 
in songs through my poet's heart. 

85 

WHEN the warriors came out first from 
their master's hall, where had they hid 
their power ? Where were their 
armour and their arms ? 

They looked poor and helpless, and 
the arrows were showered upon them 
on the day they came out from their 
master's hall. 

When the warriors marched back 
again to their master's hall where did 
they hide their power ? 

They had dropped the sword and 
dropped the bow and the arrow ; peace 
was on their foreheads, and they had 
left the fruits of their life behind them 



GITANJALI 79 

on the day they marched back again to 
their master's hall. 



DEATH, thy servant, is at my door. 
He has crossed the unknown sea and 
brought thy call to my home. 

The night is dark and my heart is 
fearful yet I will take up the lamp, 
open my gates and bow to him my 
welcome. It is thy messenger who 
stands at my door. 

I will worship him with folded hands, 
and with tears. I will worship him 
placing at his feet the treasure of my 
heart. 

He will go back with his errand done, 
leaving a dark shadow on my morning ; 
and in my desolate home only my 
forlorn self will remain as my last 
offering to thee. 



80 GITANJALI 



87 

IN desperate hope I go and search for 
her in all the corners of my room ; I 
find her not. 

My house is small and what once has 
gone from it can never be regained. 

But infinite is thy mansion, my lord, 
and seeking her I have come to thy 
door. 

I stand under the golden canopy of 
thine evening sky and I lift my eager 
eyes to thy face. 

I have come to the brink of eternity 
from which nothing can vanish no 
hope, no happiness, no vision of a face 
seen through tears. 

Oh, dip my emptied life into that 
ocean, plunge it into the deepest full- 
ness. Let me for once feel that lost 
sweet touch in the allness of the uni- 
verse. 



GITANJALI 81 

88 

DEITY of the ruined temple ! The 
broken strings of Vina sing no more 
your praise. The bells in the evening 
proclaim not your time of worship. 
The air is still and silent about you. 

In your desolate dwelling comes the 
vagrant spring breeze. It brings the 
tidings of flowers the flowers that for 
your worship are offered no more. 

Your worshipper of old wanders ever 
longing for favour still refused. In the 
eventide, when fires and shadows mingle 
with the gloom of dust, he wearily 
comes back to the ruined temple with 
hunger in his heart. 

Many a festival day comes to you 
in silence, deity of the ruined temple. 
Many a night of worship goes away 
with lamp unlit. 

Many new images are built by 

masters of cunning art and carried to 

G 



82 GITANJALI 

the holy stream of oblivion when their 
time is come. 

Only the deity of the ruined temple 
remains unworshipped in deathless 
neglect. 

89 

No more noisy, loud words from me 
such is my master's will. Henceforth 
I deal in whispers. The speech of my 
heart will be carried on in murmurings 
of a song. 

Men hasten to the King's market. 
All the buyers and sellers are there. 
But I have my untimely leave in the 
middle of the day, in the thick of work. 

Let then the flowers come out in my 
garden, though it is not their time ; 
and let the midday bees strike up their 
lazy hum. 

Full many an hour have I spent in 
the strife of the good and the evil, but 
now it is the pleasure of my playmate 



GITANJALT 83 

of the empty days to draw my heart on 
to him ; and I know not why is this 
sudden call to what useless incon- 
sequence ! 

90 

ON the day when death will knock at 
thy door what wilt thou offer to him ? 

Oh, I will set before my guest the 
full vessel of my life I will never let 
him go with empty hands. 

All the sweet vintage of all my 
autumn days and summer nights, all 
the earnings and gleanings of my busy 
life will I place before him at the close 
of my days when death will knock at 
my door. vX 

91 

O THOU the last fulfilment of life, Death, 
my death, come and whisper to me ! . 
Day after day have I kept watch for 



84 GITANJALI 

thee; for thee have I borne the joys 
and pangs of life. 

All that I am, that I have, that I hope 
and all my love have ever flowed towards 
thee in depth of secrecy. One final 
glance from thine eyes and my life will 
be ever thine own. 

The flowers have been woven and the 
garland is ready for the bridegroom. 
After the wedding the bride shall leave 
her home and meet her lord alone in the 
solitude of night. 

92 

I KNOW that the day will come when 
my sight of this earth shall be lost, and 
life will take its leave in silence, drawing 
the last curtain over my eyes. 

Yet stars will watch at night, and 
morning rise as before, and hours heave 
like sea waves casting up pleasures and 
pains. 



GITANJALI 85 

When I think of this end of my 
moments, the barrier of the moments 
breaks and I see by the light of death 
thy world with its careless treasures. 
Rare is its lowliest seat, rare is its 
meanest of lives. 

Things that I longed for in vain and 
things that I got let them pass. Let 
me but truly possess the things that I 
ever spurned and overlooked. 

93 

I HAVE got my leave. Bid me farewell, 
my brothers 1 1 bow to you all and 
take my departure. 

Here I give back the keys of my 
door and I give up all claims to my 
house. I only ask for last kind words 
from you. 

We were neighbours for long, but I 
received more than I could give. Now 
the day has dawned and the lamp 



86 GITANJALI 

that lit my dark corner is out. A 
summons has come and I am ready 
for my journey. 



94 



AT this time of my parting, wish me 
good luck, my friends ! The sky is 
flushed with the dawn and my path lies 
beautiful. 

Ask not what I have with me to take 
there. I start on my journey with 
empty hands and expectant heart. 

I shall put on my wedding garland. 
Mine is not the red-brown dress of the 
traveller, and though there are dangers 
on the way I have no fear in my mind. 

The evening star will come out when 
my voyage is done and the plaintive 
notes of the twilight melodies be struck 
up from the King's gateway. 



GITANJALI 87 



95 

X 

I WAS not aware of the moment when 
I first crossed the threshold of this life. 

What was the power that made me 
open out into this vast mystery like a 
bud in the forest at midnight ! 

When in the morning I looked upon 
the light I felt in a moment that I was 
no stranger in this world, that the in- 
scrutable without name and form had 
taken me in its arms in the form of my 
own mother. 

Even so, in death the same unknown 
will appear as ever known to me. And 
because I love this life, I know I shall 
love death as well. 

The child cries out when from the 
right breast the mother takes it away, 
in the very next moment to find in the 
left one its consolation. 



88 GITANJALI 

96 

WHEN I go from hence let this be my 
parting word, that what I have seen is 
unsurpassable. 

I have tasted of the hidden honey of 
this lotus that expands on the ocean of 
light, and thus am I blessed let this 
be my parting word. 

In this playhouse of infinite forms I 
have had my play and here have I 
caught sight of him that is formless. 

My whole body and my limbs have 
thrilled with his touch who is beyond 
touch ; and if the end comes here, let 
it come let this be my parting word. 

97 

WHEN my play was with thee I never 

questioned who thou wert. I knew nor 

shyness nor fear, my life was boisterous. 

In the early morning thou wouldst 



GITANJALI 89 

call me from my sleep like my own 
comrade and lead me running from 
glade to glade. 

On those days I never cared to know 
the meaning of songs thou sangest to 
me. Only my voice took up the tunes, 
and my heart danced in their cadence. 

Now, when the playtime is over, 
what is this sudden sight that is come 
upon me ? The world with eyes bent 
upon thy feet stands in awe with all its 
silent stars. 

98 

I WILL deck thee with trophies, garlands 
of my defeat. It is never in my power 
to escape unconquered. 

I surely know my pride will go to the 
wall, my life will burst its bonds in ex- 
ceeding pain, and my empty heart will 
sob out in music like a hollow reed, and 
the stone will melt in tears. 

I surely know the hundred petals of 



90 GITANJALI 

a lotus will not remain closed for ever 
and the secret recess of its honey will 
be bared. 

From the blue sky an eye shall gaze 
upon me and summon me in silence. 
Nothing will be left for me, nothing 
whatever, and utter death shall I receive 
at thy feet. 

99 

WHEN I give up the helm I know that 
the time has come for thee to take it. 
What there is to do will be instantly 
done. Vain is this struggle. 

Then take away your hands and 
silently put up with your defeat, my 
heart, and think it your good fortune 
to sit perfectly still where you are 
placed. 

These my lamps are blown out at 
every little puff of wind, and trying to 
light them I forget all else again and 
again. 



GITAN.TALI 91 

But I shall be wise this time and wait 
in the dark, spreading my mat on the 
floor ; and whenever it is thy pleasure, 
my lord, come silently and take thy 
seat here. 

100 

I DIVE down into the depth of the ocean 
of forms, hoping to gain the perfect 
pearl of the formless. 

No more sailing from harbour to 
harbour with this my weather-beaten 
boat. The days are long passed when 
my sport was to be tossed on waves. 

And now I am eager to die into the 
deathless. 

Into the audience hall by the fathom 
less abyss where swells up the music of 
toneless strings I shall take this harp of 
my life. 

I shall tune it to the notes of for ever, 
and, when it has sobbed out its last 



92 GITANJALI 

utterance, lay down my silent harp at 
the feet of the silent. 



101 

EVER in my life have I sought thee 
with my songs. It was they who led 
me from door to door, and with them 
have I felt about me, searching and 
touching my world. 

It was my songs that taught me all 
the lessons I ever learnt ; they showed 
me secret paths, they brought before 
my sight many a star on the horizon of 
my heart. 

They guided me all the day long to 
the mysteries of the country of pleasure 
and pain, and, at last, to what palace 
gate have they brought me in the 
evening at the end of my journey ? 



GITANJALI 93 



102 

I BOASTED among men that I had known 
you. They see your pictures in all 
works of mine. They come and ask 
me, "Who is he?" I know not how 
to answer them. I say, "Indeed, I 
cannot tell." They blame me and they 
go away in scorn. And you sit there 
smiling. 

I put my tales of you into lasting 
songs. The secret gushes out from my 
heart. They come and ask me, "Tell 
me all your meanings." I know not 
how to answer them. I say, " Ah, who 
knows what they mean ! " They smile 
and go away in utter scorn. And you 
sit there smiling. 



94 GITANJALI 



103 

IN one salutation to thee, my God, let 
all my senses spread out and touch this 
world at thy feet. 

Like a rain-cloud of July hung low 
with its burden of unshed showers let 
all my mind bend down at thy door in 
one salutation to thee. 

Let all my songs gather together 
their diverse strains into a single current 
and flow to a sea of silence in one salu- 
tation to thee. 

Like a flock of homesick cranes flying 
night and day back to their mountain 
nests let all my life take its voyage to 
its eternal home in one salutation to 
thee. 



THESE translations are of poems 
contained in three books Naivedya, 
Kheya, and Citanjali to be had at 
the Indian Publishing House, 22 
Cormvallis Street, Calcutta ; and of 
a few poems which have appeared 
only in periodicals. 



95 



INDEX OF FIRST WORDS 

No. 

Art thou abroad on this stormy night . . 23 
At this time of my parting, wish me good 

luck 94 

Beautiful is thy wristlet, decked with stars . 53 
By all means they try to hold me secure . 32 

Clouds heap upon clouds . . . .18 

Day after day, O lord of my life, shall I 

stand 76 

Death, thy servant, is at my door . . 86 

Deity of the ruined temple ! The broken 

strings . . . . . . 88 . 

Deliverance is not for me in renunciation . 73 V 

Early in the day it was whispered . . 42 
Ever in my life have I sought thee . . 101 

Have you not heard his silent steps ? . .45 
He came and sat by my side ... 26 
He it is, the innermost one ... 72 
He whom I enclose with my name is weeping 29 

Here is thy footstool 10 

97 H 



98 GITANJALI 

No. 

am here to sing thee songs . . .15 
am like a remnant of a cloud of autumn . 80 
am only waiting for love . . . .17 

ask for a moment's indulgence ... 5 
asked nothing from thee ; I uttered not . 54 
'. boasted among men that I had known you 102 
came out alone on my way ... 30 
dive down into the depth of the ocean . 100 
had gone a-begging from door to door . 50 
have got my leave. Bid me farewell . 93 
have had my invitation . . . .16 

know not from what distant time . . 46 
know not how thou singest, my master ! . 3 
know that the day will come when my 

sight . . * . . .92 

I know thee as my God and stand apart . 77 
I must launch out my boat . . . .21 

I thought I should ask of thee but I dared 

not . . . . . . .52 

I thought that my voyage had come to its 

end '. . ... . . 37 

I was not aware of the moment . . 95 N/ 

I will deck thee with trophies ... 98 
If it is not my portion to meet thee . . 79 
If the day is done, if birds sing no more . 24 
If thou speakest not I will fill my heart . 19 
In desperate hope I go and search for her . 87 
In one salutation to thee, my God . .103 
In the deep shadows of the rainy July . 22 
In the night of weariness let me give myself / 

up .... . . . 25 V 



INDEX OF FIRST WORDS 99 

No. 

Is it beyond thee to be glad with the gladness 70 
It is the pang of separation ... 84 

Languor is upon your heart . . .55 
Leave this chanting and singing . . .11 \s 
Let all the strains of joy mingle in my last 

song 58 

Let only that little be left of me . . 34 
Life of my life, I shall ever try . . . 4 
Light, my light, the world-filling light . 57 
Light, oh where is the light ? . . .27 

Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls . 83 
My desires are many and my cry is pitiful . 14 
My song has put off her adornments . . 7 

No more noisy, loud words from me . . 89 

O fool, to try to carry thyself . . . 9 

O Thou the last fulfilment of life 91 , 

Obstinate are the trammels . . . 28 * 

On many an idle day have I grieved . . 81 
On the day when death will knock at thy 

door 90 

On the day when the lotus bloomed . . 20 
On the seashore of endless worlds children 

meet 60 

On the slope of the desolate river among tall 

grasses 64 

Pluck this little flower .... 6 
Prisoner, tell me, who was it . . .31 

She who ever had remained in the depth . 66 



100 GITANJALI 

No. 

That I should make much of myself . . 71 

That I want thee, only thee ... 38 

The child who is decked with prince's robes 8 
The day is no more, the shadow is upon the 

earth 74 

The day was when I did not keep myself . 43 
The morning sea of silence broke into 

ripples 48 

The night darkened. Our day's works had 

been done 51 

The night is nearly spent waiting for him . 47 

The rain has held back for days and days . 40 
The same stream of life that runs through 

my veins . . ' . . . .69 

The sleep that flits on baby's eyes . . 6l 

The song that I came to sing remains unsung 1 3 

The time that my journey takes is long . 12 

This is my delight, thus to wait and watch . 44 

This is my prayer to thee, my lord . . 36 

Thou art the sky and thou art the nest . 67 

Thou hast made me endless ... 1 
Thou hast made me known to friends whom 

I knew not ..,',/. . . .63 

Thus it is that thy joy in me is so full . 56 

Thy gifts to us mortals fulfil all our needs . 75 

Thy sunbeam comes upon this earth of mine 68 

Time is endless in thy hands, my lord . 82 

What divine drink wouldst thou have, my God 65 
When I bring to you coloured toys, my 

child . 62 



INDEX OF FIRST WORDS 101 

No. 

When I give up the helm I know that the 

time has come 99 

When I go from hence let this be my parting 

word 96 V 

When it was day they came into my house 33 
When my play was with thee I never 

questioned . . . , . .97 
When the creation was new and all the stars 

shone 78 

When the heart is hard and parched up . 39 

When the warriors came out first . . 85 

When thou commandest me to sing . . 2 

Where dost thou stand behind them all . 41 

Where the mind is without fear . , 35 

Yes, I know, this is nothing but thy love . 59 
You came down from your throne . 49 



THE END 



Printed by R. & R. CI.ARK, LIMITED, Etiinbvrfk. 



BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE 

THE GARDENER 

LYRICS OF LOVE AND LIFE 

TRANSLATED BY THE AUTHOR 

With Portrait. Crown 8vo. 45. 6d. net. 

DAILY MAIL. "Flowers as fresh as sunrise. . . . 
One cannot tell what they have lost in the translation, but as 
they stand they are of extreme beauty. . . . They are simple, 
exalted, fragrant- -episodes and incidents of every day trans- 
posed to faery." 

DAILY NWS.--"The verses in this book are far finer 
and more genuine than even the best in Gitanjali" 

OBSERVER. "Mr. Tagore does not in his poetry set 
the themes of life to great music ; he speaks them in a soft 
voice to the heart with all the simplicity and directness in his 
power. He takes the little intimate things which comprise life 
and fashions them into pearls which reflect the colour of the 
sky, the mightiness of love and life. He has vision ; he has 
intelligence :n love, the last test of a man's nature." 

PALL MALL GAZETTE. "No one can read it 
without a sense of the original music in his ear, and we have a 
very genuine curiosity to hear Mr. Tagore recite the authentic 
Bengali versions which he has rendered himself so delicately in 
this fresh and truly poetic book." 

MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD., LONDON. 



BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE 
THE CRESCENT MOON 

CHILD-POEMS 

Translated by the Author from the Original Bengali. 

With 8 Illustrations in Colour. 

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GLOBE. "In The Crescent Moon Rabindranath Tagore 
offers a revelation more profound and more subtle than that 
in the Gitanjali. He opens to us the child-mind. . . . His 
revelation of the child-mind is richer, more complete, more con- 
vincing than any of which we have had previous knowledge. . . . 
The poems depict every phase of the child's imagination. Their 
richness and beauty will be sufficiently obvious from the exam pies 
we have given, and these qualities are even more apparent when 
the poet turns from childhood itself to gaze upon the mother- 
hood which enfolds it." 

OBSER VER.' ' Every one who knows and who does not ? 
the sensitive delicacy and strength of Mr. Tagore's mind and 
work will realise how delightful must be his poems about chil- 
dren. They are. They have a singular fragrance and beauty 
of their own." 

SADHANA: 
THE REALISATION OF LIFE 

LECTURES 
Extra Crown 8vo. 53. net. 



AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MAHARSHI 
DEVENDRANATH TAGORE 

[FATHER OF RABINDRANATH TAGORE] 

With Introduction by EVELYN UNDERBILL. 

8vo. {Shortly. 

MACMILLAN AND CO., LTD., LONDON. 







Tagore, (Sir) Rabindranath 
6039 Gitanjali 

A2G6 
1913 
cop.3 




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